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Refugee crisis requires fighting terror: Iran

20 September 2015 16:17


Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the solution to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe lies in “serious” fight against terrorism.

“The solution to this problem is to seriously fight and counter terrorism,” Rouhani said in a meeting with the visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Sunday.

The remarks by the Iranian president against the backdrop of an unprecedented inflow of refugees mainly from war-wracked countries to Europe.

The UN has predicted a dramatic increase in the number of refugees heading for Europe. “In 2015, the UNHCR anticipates that approximately 400,000 new arrivals will seek international protection in Europe via the Mediterranean. In 2016, this number could reach 450,000 or more.”

“Terrorism should not be viewed as a problem limited to our region; rather it [should be considered as] a global scourge and fighting it requires global determination,” Rouhani said.

He noted that most challenges in the Middle East have been imposed from outside the region.

Rouhani also referred to relations between Iran and the Netherlands, saying the two countries enjoy sufficient potential to develop cooperation in the economic, cultural and political fields.

“Iran and the Netherlands can also closely cooperate and have consultations on various regional issues and their settlement,” he said.

Rouhani highlighted the Dutch rotating presidency of the European Union from the beginning of 2016, saying, “The Netherlands, as the EU chair, could play a steering and highly influential role in the relations between Iran and the Union in the post-sanction era.”

Koenders, for his part, said Tehran and Amsterdam can broaden their cooperation in the light of the recent nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers.

He further noted that the implementation of the nuclear agreement will be one of the priorities of the Netherlands during its presidency of the EU.

Koenders described terrorism a complicated issue, saying fighting this phenomenon requires firm resolve and close cooperation between countries.

On July 14, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China – plus Germany finalized the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Austrian capital city of Vienna.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

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